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Nationals 0 for 16 with RISP in 4-3 loss to Padres

Friday - 4/25/2014, 1:04am  ET

Washington Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton, left, is late with the tag on San Diego Padres' Chris Denorfia who is safe at home on a double hit by Seth Smith, during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After his Washington Nationals went 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base, manager Matt Williams repeated the words "opportunity" and "opportunities" and "chance" and "chances" over and over.

His point was that, eventually, scoring will come.

Not on this night.

Accumulating 16 hits Thursday night but unable to put enough together, the Nationals lost to the San Diego Padres 4-3 in 12 innings on Xavier Nady's go-ahead RBI single off Craig Stammen.

"Opportunities are there," Williams said. "It didn't happen. Just keep providing ourselves those opportunities, it will happen for us."

There were only two innings in which Padres pitchers retired the Nationals 1-2-3. A perfect example of the sort of thing that went wrong for Washington came in the bottom of the 12th, which Bryce Harper started with a double.

After pinch hitter Tyler Moore struck out against Padres closer Houston Street, Jose Lobaton hit a liner that shortstop Everth Cabrera caught. He then flipped the ball to second base to double off Harper.

"It was sort of ironic that we were sort of worried about Harper stealing third," San Diego manager Bud Black explained, "and so we tried to keep Cabby a little bit tighter to Harper, and sure enough the ball was hit in the hole."

Street got his eighth save. Alex Torres (1-0) got two outs in the 11th for the win.

"There's just something in you, when your back's against the wall a little bit, you've got to reach back and really give your best shot and throw your best pitches," said Tim Stauffer, who threw 2 1-3 scoreless innings in relief of Eric Stults. "I think as a whole we were able to do that today."

Looking at it from Washington's perspective, Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa said: "It's easy to press. You want to come through for your team."

He hit a solo homer in the sixth, and Adam LaRoche added one in the seventh to help Washington pull even after trailing 3-1.

But the Padres never did let the Nationals go ahead from there.

In the top of the 12th, former Nationals outfielder Xavier Nady provided the go-ahead run with a single off Craig Stammen (0-1).

Nady, who entered the game in the ninth, hit a 2-0 fastball up the middle off Stammen, who was working his third inning.

"I'm the last man standing. Whatever happens, happens. I've got to live with it," Stammen said. "I left it up a little bit, but he put it in a good spot."

Jedd Gyorko singled, stole second and got to third when catcher Lobaton's throw sailed into the outfield for an error, then scored on Nady's hit.

"As soon as I threw the ball," Lobaton said, gritting his teeth, "I was like, 'Ah, that was a bad throw.'"

As both managers went deep into their benches, the Padres even briefly used pitcher Andrew Cashner in left field for one batter in the 11th inning before he exited as part of a double-switch. Cashner went in because outfielder Seth Smith came out of the game with a strained right groin.

Padres third baseman Chase Headley left in the middle of the second inning with a strained calf that Black said could land him on the disabled list.

In the top of the ninth, Yonder Alonso walked, then tried to steal second and initially was ruled safe. But Williams challenged the call, which was overruled on review; replays showed that Alonso's front leg was in the air as he slid and his foot didn't touch the bag before he was tagged.

NOTES: Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann allowed three runs and five hits in six innings. ... Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez felt "normal, after-a-start soreness" Thursday and would get plenty of treatment, Williams said. Gonzalez was pulled in the sixth inning after only 83 pitches Wednesday because his left shoulder felt tight. "I'm not concerned about it. I don't think he is, either, really," Williams said. "We want to be careful, but we don't think there's any major concern there." ... Washington RHP Doug Fister, on the 15-day DL with a back muscle problem, threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session Thursday and is scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start Sunday, probably at Class-A Potomac. ... On Friday, Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 5.33) will face Padres LHP Robbie Erlin (1-2, 4.15).


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